Daoism in Singapore

From FYSK: Daoist Culture Centre - Database
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Daoism spread to Singapore with immigrant Chinese. There are three stages for Daoism's spread to Singapore.

First Period

In the 19th century, there were no professional Daoist priests in Singapore. Devotees set up altars and built temples to burn incense and worship in accordance with Chinese tradition by themselves. It was said that the earliest Daoist temple the Shuntian Temple was built in 1796 in Singapore. It enshrined Fujian popular god Reverend Eldest Uncle.

Other earlier Daoist temples

Sworn Brotherhood Temple

It was said that the chivalrous persons who fought against the Qing army and wanted to restore the Ming government built this temple after they were exiled to Singapore. They swore to become brothers and fight together to recover the Ming dynasty. So they called it Sworn Brotherhood Temple. It enshrined Patriarch Pristine Water and Bao the Clear Sky.

Heavenly Blessed Temple

It is the most influential temple in Singapore. All the materials of this temple including stone, girders, bricks, tiles and colored glaze, were shipped to Singapore from Fujian by sailboat. Its construction lasted twenty years. It enshrined Motherly Matriarch. In 1973, Singapore's government listed it as national historic site.

Loyal and Righteous Temple

It enshrines Lord Guan, The Great Jade Emperor and Reverend Eldest Uncle, etc. When there were more Chinese immigrant to Singapore, they built different kinds of temples.

The Second Period

After the 1920s, Daoist priests from Southern China began to arrive in Singapore to set up altars, manage Daoist temples and undertake ritual activities. Several decades later, there were Daoist priests from Fujian, Fuzhou, Xinghuan, Guangdong and Kejian. Fujian Daoist priests lead other provinces in numbers of priests and they are the most influential.

The Third Period

After Singapore founded its own country, Daoism began to be unified and became more academic. The Three Purities Daoist Organization was founded in Singapore. It conducted a "Nation-wide Marine, Terrestrial, and Aerial Ritual of Salvation" in 1985 and attracted tens of thousands of pilgrims. In March 1990, the Three Purities Daoist Organization and twenty-seven other Daoist organizations founded the General Daoist Organization of Singapore. It held One Month Daoist Culture activity, and invited Daoist delegations from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan to conduct rituals of Fasts and Offerings together. The Singapore Daoist Assocaition was founded in 1996. It has conducted three times large scale Daoist Festivals. It prepares to open a Daoist Academy to study Daoist thought and carry forward traditional cultures.